PhysioNet, a cooperative project "intended to stimulate current research and new investigations in the study of complex biomedical and physiologic signals," offers this set of tutorials on Exploring Patterns in Nature. The tutorials are based upon materials developed by the Center for Polymer Studies at Boston University with support from the National Science Foundation. The tutorial is organized into seven units: The Fractal Coastline and Dimension; Measuring Randomness; Physical and Chemical Branching Structures; Biological Branching Patterns; Diffusion; Oozing and Growing: Percolation; and Motion on a Fractal. Each unit includes suggested hands-on experiments that help demonstrate key concepts (such as measurement, fractals, and distribution), as well as computer simulations to use in a analyzing data. At the end of each unit are suggestions for more involved research projects. The simulations can be used online in Java or downloaded in Mac OS or Windows formats.
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